Here are 4 reasons God always waits for us to put him first before he will bless us.
1. Without God Being First in Your Heart, Every Blessing Turns Into an Idol
What does it really mean to “put God first”? A lot of people imagine that everything in our lives should be ordered in a numerical way: God is number 1, perhaps a spouse is number 2, kids would be number 3, church would be number 4, work would be number 5, and so on. I don’t believe this is the most biblical way to think of “putting God first.”
Rather than having God before everything else in your life, I believe God desires to be all consuming. God doesn’t just want to be above everything else. He wants to be first “in” everything else. God wants you to put him first “in” your relationships, “in” your friendships, “in” your career, and “in” every other part of your life.
If we don’t have this view of “putting God first,” God may be “first” in one sense but he will also be separate in another sense. God never wants to be put into a category, even if it is your first category, because then he is separated from the rest of your life. God deserves to consume all the categories in your life.
This is also important because if God is not first in all the areas of our lives, those separate areas of our lives will always try to compete for God’s first position in our hearts. As Jeremiah 32:39-41 (NIV) states:
I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.”
When we don’t use everything in our lives to glorify God, those other blessings try to become our god. So one reason God waits to bless us until we are putting him first is because he knows if he doesn’t, those good things will spoil and turn into idols in our hearts.
2. God Waits to Bless Us Until We Put Him First Because Only His Presence Can Guide Us on the Right Path Towards His Blessings
If you want God’s blessing without putting God first, it’s like asking to arrive at the correct destination even though you are willingly not following the correct directions.
I can’t get mad at the cookbook if look at the picture of a delicious meal but then I don’t follow the recipe to make it. If I just guess at what will make that dish instead of following the recipe exactly, the only person to blame when my dinner tastes nasty is myself. Likewise, if I look at all the blessings in the Bible but then I don’t follow the directions in the Bible, I don’t have anyone to blame but myself when I’m not blessed.
I have to follow God if I want God’s blessing. Without God first in your heart, you won’t know where and how to walk in life to receive the good God wants to give you. As Proverbs 16:3 states, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
3. Without God First in Your Life, It’s Very Difficult to Enjoy Lesser Blessings
It would be unbiblical to say that God does not bless people until they put him first. Sometimes God waits to bless us with that particular blessing that we want until we put him first, but throughout Scripture we are told that God always shows kindness even to those who reject him. As Matthew 5:44-45 states, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Everyone who has breath in their lungs has a reason to praise God because that breath, and everything else in this life, is from the very hand of God. As Acts 17:25 (NIV) says, “And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”
And yet, without Christ first in our lives, this life is miserable. Despite all the reasons to feel blessed, all we can feel is the curse of our sin when we are not living for the glory of God through the grace of Jesus Christ (Romans 7:24). We can’t enjoy blessings when God is not first. But when God is first, we can be grateful for the smallest blessing that we previously overlooked because now we have the eyes to see that this blessing is right from the hand of our loving heavenly Father (Matthew 7:11).
As Psalm 16:2 states, “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’”
4. God Waits to Bless Us Until We Put Him First Because God Being First in Our Lives Is the Greatest Blessing of All
There are many amazing blessings God gives us that he wants us to fully enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 states:
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
God wants us to enjoy the lesser blessings that he provides us with. But he also wants us to constantly be aware that every blessing rooted in this life is temporal and fading. God himself is the only blessing that will last forever and satisfy our hearts completely.
Therefore, only when we are putting God first are we taking “hold of that which is truly life.”